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Old 06-24-2014, 07:42 AM
 
28 posts, read 24,070 times
Reputation: 18

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We started our fact finding trips one year ago and we have now been here 1.5 weeks. We too had been down several times before we made the decision to move, but before the first actual fact finding trip, I did a ton of research on-line. I had narrowed down school districts and areas I thought might work for our family. Once we got down here, my husband and I took a day and just drove around the greater Tampa area. We then narrowed our search to two specific areas and went out with a realtor. We made a couple more trips before we finally officially moved down. We are renting right now and so far we are really enjoying the area. Good luck!
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Old 06-30-2014, 05:08 AM
 
Location: Land O' Lakes, FL
469 posts, read 344,684 times
Reputation: 652
Default Leaving today

Leaving today for our first relocation visit. Thanks for everyone's input, I will update you in a week.
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Old 06-30-2014, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Apollo Beach, Florida
673 posts, read 904,581 times
Reputation: 392
Have a successful trip!
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Tampa Bay Area
232 posts, read 179,503 times
Reputation: 418
Good luck! Hope you find your little piece of paradise!
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Land O' Lakes, FL
469 posts, read 344,684 times
Reputation: 652
Default Update !!!

Just got back from a week in Tampa and although we have been to Tampa and Florida in general many times its definitely different when your not there as a tourist, you look at things much differently.

First let me mention the weather, it was great, low to mid 90's, lots of humidity, absolutely perfect. We love this kind of weather.

Now the traffic, we experienced both morning and afternoon rush hour traffic from downtown to the north and east suburbs. The traffic is really nothing more than we already face everyday here in Buffalo. I realize it may be lighter without the snowbirds but may also have been heavy because of the holiday. We also took note of the varying traffic issues depending on location which we'll deal with it wherever we decide to live. One positive I noticed was everyone drives fast, and this was everywhere, not just on the highways, I will fit right in with that. One negative it the long wait at lights, much longer than here in NY.

USF Visit............had a great trip to USF. My daughter was very excited, loved the school. She wants to go into teaching and they have a very good program. Of course we would not get residency until the 2016-2017 school year.

On to the areas we explored. After all the research we had some specific areas we wanted to look but also wanted to explore the entire area, so we literally drove around for days. We visited Fish Hawk, Lithia, Valrico, Brandon, Riverview, New Tampa, Lutz, Wesely Chapel, Land o'Lakes, Holiday, Trinity,New Port Richey, Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, St Pete Beach, Carollwood and Temple Terrace. Phew......That was a lot of driving. Many of those areas we would never consider, Carollwood and Temple Terrace to name a few. Many other areas had some beautiful spots if we could afford it. I would take a waterfront home in Dunedin any day and the community in Fishhawk is beautiful but expensive and isolated.

The area we spent the most time, felt the most comfortable and is very similar to the suburb we we live in now is the Lutz, Land o'Lakes, Wesely Chapel, New Tampa areas. I realize its still diverse and spans two counties but we found some great neighborhoods that we can afford and see ourselves living in. We visited, grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls etc. These areas have everything we are look for, including a few Crossfit locations for me and Yoda studios for my wife. We also have a friend who lives in Land o'Lakes and drove us around for hours giving us a detailed tour of those areas.

We are definitely thinking of renting a home first, we need to be 100% sure on location and will have to take into account where are jobs may be located. The move itself will be much easier dealing with just selling our home. Plus after all the research we would still rather be closer to the beach, maybe renting for a year will help us figure that out.

Thanks for everyone input over the past few months while I asked lots of questions, I have learned to ignore the haters on this forum

We will definitely be taking a few more trips down as we get closer, we're about 12 months and counting.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Apollo Beach, Florida
673 posts, read 904,581 times
Reputation: 392
cjrudy, you did one heck of a lot of driving and have now visited more places than I have. I look forward to your decision on where to love.
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:49 AM
 
Location: Land O' Lakes, FL
469 posts, read 344,684 times
Reputation: 652
Yes, about 300 miles of driving but well worth it.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:24 AM
 
207 posts, read 166,131 times
Reputation: 211
We just finished our house hunting, as we are relocating from the Atlanta area as part of a job transfer. We looked at some of the same areas that you mentioned and it came down to Lutz/Odessa in Hillsborough (the Steinbrenner school district) and Land O'Lakes along SR 54. We liked the more established feel of Lutz/Odessa over the newer subdivisions in Land O'Lakes and focused our house hunting on this area.

My first thought was to rent but I realized that my family did not want to do 2 moves (we have 4 kids ages 15 to 3). Also the move down here is being paid by my company but any additional moves are on me. Therefore I focused on purchasing but I understand the desire to rent first.

We made four trips since last November. The first was just a general get to know Tampa. The second trip I focused on areas to narrow our search. The third we (including the kids) looked at over 20 houses to get a feel for the different neighborhoods and style of house in our price range ($350K to $425K). The last trip we (just my wife and i) looked at our top 5 houses and put offers on 3 houses. We focused as much on the particular neighborhood as we did the house.

I also spent a ton of time on this board reading what others thought about different areas. I drove from the general area we were looking to my new office location, to get a feel for the commute. I also would regularly look at Google Maps traffic conditions at the approximate times I would travel to get a sense for the congestion (nothing compared to Atlanta). We went to the stores that we would shop at. We contacted people we knew in the area and asked them questions about the area. Our realtor was very helpful in providing background on the different communities, as she lived in the area (I think that this helps to have a realtor that actually lives in the area you are looking at). We gathered as much information as we could before making a decision.

We will be moving down on July 26th and working on the final details. It is a lot of work along the way but I think we found a great community and house that will work well for our family.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Apollo Beach, Florida
673 posts, read 904,581 times
Reputation: 392
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybird45 View Post
We just finished our house hunting, as we are relocating from the Atlanta area as part of a job transfer. We looked at some of the same areas that you mentioned and it came down to Lutz/Odessa in Hillsborough (the Steinbrenner school district) and Land O'Lakes along SR 54. We liked the more established feel of Lutz/Odessa over the newer subdivisions in Land O'Lakes and focused our house hunting on this area.

My first thought was to rent but I realized that my family did not want to do 2 moves (we have 4 kids ages 15 to 3). Also the move down here is being paid by my company but any additional moves are on me. Therefore I focused on purchasing but I understand the desire to rent first.

We made four trips since last November. The first was just a general get to know Tampa. The second trip I focused on areas to narrow our search. The third we (including the kids) looked at over 20 houses to get a feel for the different neighborhoods and style of house in our price range ($350K to $425K). The last trip we (just my wife and i) looked at our top 5 houses and put offers on 3 houses. We focused as much on the particular neighborhood as we did the house.

I also spent a ton of time on this board reading what others thought about different areas. I drove from the general area we were looking to my new office location, to get a feel for the commute. I also would regularly look at Google Maps traffic conditions at the approximate times I would travel to get a sense for the congestion (nothing compared to Atlanta). We went to the stores that we would shop at. We contacted people we knew in the area and asked them questions about the area. Our realtor was very helpful in providing background on the different communities, as she lived in the area (I think that this helps to have a realtor that actually lives in the area you are looking at). We gathered as much information as we could before making a decision.

We will be moving down on July 26th and working on the final details. It is a lot of work along the way but I think we found a great community and house that will work well for our family.
Another exodus from Atlanta! Congratulations. Your family will love it here. Where did you buy, may I ask?
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:00 AM
 
207 posts, read 166,131 times
Reputation: 211
We bought in Stonebrier. We also liked Villa Rosa but could not work out an agreeable price on the home we put an offer on. The one negative with Stonebrier is the CDD's but they are tax deductible and we got more house for the money than Villa Rosa. We bought a six year old existing house not one of the new homes they are building.
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